MORE countries are issuing travel advisories against parts of the Philippines due to a clash between the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and the military that left 10 dead in Bohol last week.
At present, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have warned travelers against visiting areas in Mindanao and the Visayas.
Before the clash, the United States Embassy in Manila had informed US travelers it had received “unsubstantiated yet credible information” that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces.
Philippine Tour Operators Association president Cesar Cruz told TTG Asia it was “unfair” Philippines had been singled out as an unsafe destination.
He said, “Which country can (claim to be) safe after what happened in France, London, New York, Sweden and Spain? They are the epitome of safe countries, but incidents also happened there. (Terrorism concerns) are a worldwide problem.”
However, Bohol Tourism Council chair Lucas Nunag told the publication the advisories have not significantly impacted tourist numbers.
“The travel advisories and the actual encounter in Bohol have resulted in some, but not heavy cancellations,” he said.
“The Asean meetings scheduled in Bohol this week will proceed and many of the participants will visit our popular attractions. The resorts still have high occupancy during Holy Week (last week) and tourism activities continue as usual.”